Tena to Katie, 5 August 1894
Canal Dover, Aug 5th
Dear Sister, Brother and Parents,
I will endever to answer your letter which we have received some time ago and was glad to hear from you. I had a letter from Sister Rose this morning telling that William has not heard from me yet. I wrote to him twice, the first letter I addressed in care of Geo. Roth to think surely he would get it with Father's mail, and then I wrote another letter to him and addressed it in care of Henry Jacob, and was waiting patiently for an answer.
Dear Katie you have heard that the children had not been very well, but they are better now. Katharin seems to be almost over it and Albert is getting better but he is teething rite along. He has 13 teeth now.
How are you all getting along and will there be any fruit on your farm, apples or peaches? I was out home last Sunday. They say the apples are all falling down, we have such dry weather here, and have you thrashed yet? Out home they did not thrash yet.
Last week there was quite a sad accident happened here in Dover. Two young girls were drowned, aged 13 or 14 years. They went wading in the water and go into a deep hole and were drowned. It was in the crick. One was a minister's daughter.
Dear Sister, you may think I have not much to do, but I find there is more to do than any one thinks. When one is alone and has every little thing to do and the children to look after.
Mrs. Feil's baby was very sick with hooping cough and lung fever, is better again.
How is Anna and Martha Brown getting along? If I understood right, they both live in your neighborhood. I suppose you been to see them.
How is Father and Mother getting along? Give them my regards when you see them.
Now I will close writing, hoping to hear from you soon.
I remain, as ever,
Threshing or "thrash"ing as Tena wrote, is the process of removing grain from stalks. In the 1890s, this was usually done with the help of steam-powered eqiupment. There's a good description of the process at the Library of Congress' American Memory Project.
You don't have to imagine what it was like though, if you can attend a steam show. There's one in Dover in a few days, but when I was growing up in Illinois, we often went to the Sycamore Steam Show. We knew it simply as "the threshing bee" and the main reason for us kids to go was to jump in the straw stack when the threshing was finished. Well, that and the pony rides.
More pictures from the Dover Steam Show are posted on Flickr.